It’s loud, a bit chaotic and always unpredictable. Some would say “nerve-racking.” However it’s described, the annual Wobble-Off – a showcase of freshman engineering students’ self-built engines – is the culmination of months of trial and error, reconstruction and fine-tuning.

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Video Transcript

Sara Wytsma: The energy on the night of the Wobble-Off was crazy.

Addison Asbell: It was just loud and everyone was so excited. It was just, I don't know, it was just very chaotic.

Wyatt Greene: A bunch of excitement, a bunch of nerves, a bunch of people. It was insane.

Sara Wytsma: And it was really fun to, like, see all the parents come through. There was a lot of pride there.

Lelia Bascom: It was crazy. It was really loud and a little bit overwhelming, but it was really fun and it felt like a celebration.

Wyatt Greene: The Wobble-Off is a celebration of knowledge, a pinnacle of everything that we did the whole semester.

Lelia Bascom: All the hard work that we put into Engineering 151.

Sara Wytsma: We spend the whole semester preparing for it, so it really is just a moment where we get to finally show off what we've been spending hours upon hours every week on. This is where we've been and why our friends don't see us.

Spencer Monkewicz: I was honestly pretty worried. My engine had seized up one time before, and I could never figure out the issue, so I just hoped it didn't happen again.

Addison Asbell: I was feeling so excited before the Wobble-Off started. I was pretty confident that my engine would run, and so I was just really looking forward to seeing if it would run how I wanted it to.

Wyatt Greene: Right before the event, I was feeling very nervous, but at the same time very excited.

Lelia Bascom: I'm proud of what I’d made and excited to show my family and friends what I had done.

Spencer Monkewicz: Worry, of course.

Sara Wytsma: It was like an even mix.

Wyatt Greene: When it was my time to present my engine, I was very nervous.

Lelia Bascom: All of a sudden, you know, I got this feeling like, “I think it's not gonna work.”

Sara Wytsma: My heartrate definitely spiked.

Addison Asbell: But when I got up there, it was just a lot of fun being able to celebrate my accomplishments.

Spencer Monkewicz: When I heard it first run, I was pretty ecstatic because it sounded a lot louder than it did when I tested it, and when I heard the crowd cheer, it was, it was definitely something.

Student presenting at the Wobble-Off

Wyatt Greene: Overall, my engine, I feel, performed decently well, but I ended up competing in the air efficiency category and ended up getting fifth in that category.

Addison Asbell: I didn't place in the top five of the events I was in, but I tried to recycle air on my engine and it worked.

Lelia Bascom: It didn't perform very well compared to the rest of the engines. It kind of was really slow and it was big, so it didn't work very well. But from where I started, I know that I grew so much, and I was just really proud of what I had done.

Spencer Monkewicz: My engine was in the speed category, and it broke the school record. The previous school record was 3,600 RPM and mine went up to 4,900 RPM. I was very excited and partially shocked because I honestly didn't think it would go that fast. Actually, one of the lasting moments of the experience was definitely seeing it work and also seeing Neil [Ninteman] smile.

Sara Wytsma: I think my biggest takeaway would just be the growth that has happened in my own personal knowledge, because I walked in knowing nothing. I didn't know how to, like, design an engine. I didn't know what an engine really was.

Wyatt Greene: I made a lot of memories staying up late in the Maker Hub until, like, 3 a.m. or even pulling an all-nighter just working on my engine or working on different parts for Engineering 151.

Addison Asbell: You gotta time-manage your engine and the building process, but it pays off at the Wobble-Off for sure.

Lelia Bascom: I think some of my takeaways were just that I can accomplish more than I ever thought I could, and I have that confidence now of knowing that I can accomplish something really hard.

Sara Wytsma: For a prospective student, I would say it's gonna be hard, but it's gonna be worth it. You're gonna spend some crazy nights, your sleep schedule is gonna get thrown off, but once you get that final project, like, working in your hands, you're gonna be like, "This is my child. I built this. I spent so much time on this, and now I have this representation of everything I've learned."

Wyatt Greene: Going forward in the engineering program, I'm looking forward to getting to do more fun classes and getting to do it all together with my friends that I've made here at George Fox.

Lelia Bascom: I really have loved the people that I've gotten to know, and it's been really fun to make friends, and I'm excited to go through more years with them.

Addison Asbell: If you're unsure about, like, if you should come here or not, and also if you're unsure about being an engineer in general, the Wobble-Off will tell you if you're gonna be an engineer or not. It will give you what you need to know. It'll tell you what this industry's about, and then by the time of the Wobble-Off, you'll either have a cool engine and wanna be an engineer or a cool engine and you decide you're meant to do something else.

Spencer Monkewicz: You have to just figure it out yourself sometimes, and that's part of being an engineer.

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